the face that awaits us
As I write this, I'm sipping on the fabulous coffee that only Ethiopia can produce and I hear Kai in the background packing his bags. He just yelled from the bedroom that he would like the bag of diapers we're taking to the orphanage be used on the return trip solely for more coffee, as he plans to bring home as much as possible without raising a red flag at customs upon our return through JFK. Funny, because I was just thinking the same thing. I yell back, "but of course!"
After exploring, trekking and seeing the ins and outs of Addis on trip one, our return trip feels like we're returning to old friends in a way. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely on the warm & fuzzy tip. Almost like a little kid who gets homesick at camp and gets an early exit ticket home. And the best part is knowing what lies ahead on this trip. I can't begin to put it into words, so I'll stick to the logistics.
This is the hunker-down-round with the majority of our time being spent at the guest house with Niko. (that just makes me want to burst) Our plan is to take placement shortly after our Tuesday arrival, meaning someone from the staff will bring Niko to our guest house around 3pm local time on Tuesday. (possibly a little later because I think he takes a 1pm nap)
We're staying at Bejoe which offers sooo much for what a new family needs. All bedrooms have a bathroom, crib if needed, high speed internet on location, laundry, communal kitchen, livingroom, nice yard and the best part? Caregivers are on hand if you need assistance and they are familiar with all the children and the children know them from being in the Gladney care centers. What a great transition for both child and parent.
So, of course Niko's bag was packed first (ours are still works in progress). It wasn't easy packing for him. There were many calls to The Mother who offered greatly needed advice. In addition to the in-country bag, a separate bag is packed for his plane ride home.
Long ago, I read a tip that I printed and stuffed into the "When We Travel" folder. It was from an adoptive mother who also had a long flight home. She created 10 one-gallon size Ziploc bags, each with: a not-fancy outfit (no onesies), socks and a Huggies overnight pamper. They all went in one zipped carry bag with a carry-size packet of wipes. This was in the event her baby faced the very common bout of bad-tummy, to put it mildly. It's a no-thought process now. Grab the wipes and a baggie and head to the bathroom. The new outfit goes on while the dirty one gets sealed in the Ziploc, thrown in the bag and all will get tossed upon departure.
Also packed for the plane are toys, snacks, blankets, a stuffed toy, teethers, food, bottles, formula and a carrier. We've also packed a bundle of earplugs for our neighbors sitting nearby. Another tip from a mother making this journey suggested offering earplugs to fellow passengers. She said it worked like a charm. She let them know her baby may cry (or may not) but in the event he does, this is her little bit of peace to them. All were very respectful, even offering assistance when she needed it.
So, upon our return I'll let you know what really happened and how these plans all panned out in 'real life'. You can probably tell by now, I'm a bit anxious about the flight home!
Okay, so I must stop yapping now and get back to what's at hand here. We leave tomorrow and our to-list isn't getting done with me blogging and drinking my fabulous coffee! For some reason, I couldn't log onto our blog from Ethiopia on our last trip, but will try to update via Facebook. My sister may jump in again too. (thanks Man!)
The next few days and weeks are going to be ones we will forever remember. On one hand this is so very hard to get one's head around, while it also feels so natural.
I just want to stop anticipating and DO. To be with him and start this journey.